Wine 101: Guide for Wine Drinking this Spring

From red to white, from dry to sweet, from bold to subtle, with so many varieties of wine, there is something for everyone to love. If you want to get the most out of your wine drinking experience, there are a few simple tips to help you better understand the beauty of your wine. Enjoy the vinos in our Hickory Farms gift baskets by using these tips for drinking and sampling wine.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

Refine your Palette

Wine is a lot more fun to drink when you pick out the deep complexities of flavor that come in each glass. When tasting a wine, there are four basic steps.

First, you want to look at the color of your wine. Notice how the Cabernet Sauvignon in our Hickory Farms Reserve Dry Salami and Wine Pairing is a beautiful deep ruby red, while the Chardonnay in our Toast the Traditions basket is a buttery yellow.

The next step is to smell your wine. Try to find at least two familiar scents and identify the primary and secondary notes.

Now, it is time to taste your wine. Pay attention to both the flavor and structure. Structure refers to the feel of the wine, whether it is sweet, light, or acidic.

Finally, take a moment to think about the overall experience of the wine.

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

Serve like an Expert

Now that you know how to best enjoy the flavor of the wine, perfect your presentation with some serving tips.

To allow your wine to breathe properly, make sure you start with the best glassware for the variety you will be serving. When serving a red wine, pour it in a decanter about a half hour before your guests arrive. You can bring out more flavor when your wine is at the proper temperature. White wines should be served cold, while red wines should be slightly cool.

In our Hickory Farms wine gift baskets, you will find a great assortment of wine combined with fantastic pairings, including cheeses and chocolates. Bring home your wine gift basket today and try out these tasting tips to host a truly elegant soiree.

Succulent Maryland Style Crab Cakes & Zesty Dipping Sauces

With the natural sweetness of crabmeat and a little zesty seasoning, a good crab cake makes any meal feel like a special occasion. Enjoy the amazing flavor of lump crab for brunch or dinner by pairing our Hickory Farms Maryland Style Crab Cakes and dipping sauces.

Source: Hickory Farms

Source: Hickory Farms

The Crab Cakes

Made from 65% lump crabmeat and Chesapeake-style seasonings, our Pfaelzer Brothers crab cakes give you all of the natural crab flavor you crave. Whether you prefer to bake, broil, or fry your cakes, you can whip up a luxurious meal right from your freezer.

A Classic Combination

When thinking of flavors that pair well with seafood, lemon and dill are two of the first to come to mind. Bring these traditional flavor profiles together in one delicious sauce for a perfect accompaniment to our crab cakes.

First, create a creamy base for your sauce by mixing together mayonnaise and buttermilk. Then, add some chopped dill, fresh parsley, and minced garlic. For a bright note, stir in a bit of lemon juice and lemon zest. Once everything is mixed together, leave it in the refrigerator for a bit to thicken.

Source: FoodNetwork

Source: FoodNetwork

Bring the Heat

To jazz up your crab cakes, try adding a little heat with a spicy mayo sauce. For this super simple dipping sauce, just mix together a dab of mayo with some freshly squeezed lemon juice, salt and pepper, and as much chili sauce as you can handle.

A Spicy Take on Tartar

What happens when you take the basic ingredients of tartar sauce and add in some spice? You get a bold sauce with just enough crunch. To make this kicked up version of the classic seafood pairing, mix mayonnaise together with horseradish, chili sauce, chopped capers, shallots, and apple cider vinegar. Finish the sauce with lemon juice and our Sweet Hot Mustard.

With these easy-to-make sauces and our decadent Maryland Style Crab Cakes, you are never far away from a delicious meal. Bring home our Hickory Farms crab cakes today to treat your family to a special meal that can be on the table in moments.

Deliciously Cold Spiked Apple Cider with Granny Smith Apples

Although apple cider is traditionally associated with a chilly autumn evening, with the right recipe, it can also make a fantastic summer treat. Grab some of our delicious Granny Smith apples from the Hickory Farms Very Special Variety Fruit Gift Box, and whip up this refreshing summer cider cocktail.

Source: Hickory Farms

Source: Hickory Farms

The Gift Box

With so many delicious varieties of fruit, including Navel Oranges, Bartlett Green Pears, Kiwi Fruit, Mango, and more, every fruit lover will savor this gift box. While the crisp and juicy fruit tastes great on its own, the vibrant flavors will also add something special to any recipe. Chop up the fruit and serve it with Greek yogurt, toss it with mint for a sweet salad, or invent your very own unique recipes by using these amazing ingredients as inspiration.

The Drink

Source: Pixabay

Source: Pixabay

Now that you have found the perfect apples, it is time to whip up your refreshing cider cocktail. If possible, try to find a spiced cider from a local farm or orchard. Then, pour the cider into a pitcher with ice and stir the cider well so that it gets nice and cold. For a little kick, pour in some dark rum. If you like it a little spicy, you can also mix in a bit of cinnamon schnapps.

Now that you have the cocktail assembled, put it in the refrigerator to chill further while you prepare the garnish. Simply chop your Granny Smith apple into bite sized pieces and toss them with lemon juice to prevent the apples from browning. Using a decorative skewer, place about four pieces of apple on each skewer. Now all you have to do is pour your cocktail into a highball glass, garnish with the apple skewer, and let the fun begin.

With this cold and refreshing cocktail paired with our fresh Granny Smith apples, you can enjoy the delicious flavors of apple cider all year long. Fill your home with a fantastic assortment of fresh fruits with the Hickory Farms Very Special Fruit Gift Box.